Israeli troops blew up four houses in the occupied West Bank territory on Tuesday (30 January).
Israeli troops blew up four houses in the occupied West Bank territory on Tuesday (30 January). The houses in Abu Dis and around Nablus belonged to suspected or convicted Palestinian guerrillas.
SYNOPSIS: At dawn, troops moved into Abu Dis, where a guerrilla cell was discovered last Friday (24 January). The house they destroyed belonged to Ibrahim Abu Halal, who was captured there last week after a long man-hunt. He was wanted by the Israelis in connection with a bomb explosion which killed two people and wounded eight others in a Jerusalem market last June.
Demolition orders for the houses were read aloud to the occupants, before army explosive experts reduced them to rubble.
In and around Nablus, three more houses were destroyed. The first belonged to a merchant convicted of smuggling explosives through the port of Haifa -- the second to a man held on charges of throwing grenades at Israeli vehicles and a tourist bus -- and the third to a person sentenced to twenty years in prison for recruiting guerrillas.
Experts carefully measured the amount of explosives needed to destroy the buildings without damaging neighbouring property. Shortly before the blasts, one family contacted a lawyer in a last minute effort to save their home. But legal proceedings had hardly started before the house was flattened.
The policy of demolishing homes was frequently used in the early seventies as a deterrent. But in recent years the system appeared to have fallen into disuse.